Discover this paradise island perfect for exploring and relaxation
With year-round sunshine, long sandy beaches and spectacular scenery, Mauritius could easily be described as heaven on earth. Tucked away in the Indian Ocean, there is so much to discover on this small island, which is a melting pot of cultures. An 11-hour flight from the UK to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, and you can be almost anywhere on the island within an hour or so. We discovered how Mauritian specialists Sunlife reveal the magic the island has to offer with two of their four luxury hotels, whether you’re travelling as a family or a couple.
For many this is a once-in-a-lifetime destination, so splurging on a five-star resort is tempting. But at Long Beach you can find all the VIP touches for a reasonable price tag. The modern open plan resort on Belle Mare beach has been thoughtfully designed in the style of a chic Mauritian beach house and is home to 255 rooms, each with their own private outdoor space, ensuring it feels intimate. You can upgrade from a standard room to a Junior Suite with beach access, which will lead you from a private terrace area right onto the sand. The suite has a king size bed, with sofa area and television, and a spacious open plan bathroom including bath, separate shower, and separate toilet with his and hers sinks, providing plenty of space for two.
The all-inclusive package at Long Beach offers plenty of food and drink options during your stay. Le Marché has the perfect buffet breakfast where the tropical fruits of Mauritius provide an ideal start to the day. Shores is a stunning beachfront cocktail bar where guests can choose from a selection of cocktails and at night provides live music entertainment. Tides is the resort’s swim-up bar with a restaurant, then there’s the Asian-inspired Chopsticks along with Italian restaurant Sapori, but our favourite was Hasu – ranked the number one Japanese restaurant in Mauritius. Many of the fruit and vegetables, herbs, and spices that are served are sourced from the chef’s garden, which guests are welcome to visit.
Activities and relaxation
Wellness is at the centre of Long Beach and there are three swimming pools to choose from. The main pool is at the centre of the resort, a lap pool next to the fitness centre, and an adults-only infinity pool overlooking the sea. The resort also offers a wealth of sports and explorative activities as part of their Come Alive Collection, with daily classes at the fitness centre, which even has a climbing wall, as well as offering a kids and teens club. At Cinq Mondes Spa you can enjoy traditional Polynesian treatments and Hammam – we loved the Swing and Drift experience, which allows you to soothe the stresses of your flight with a massage in a hammock overlooking the ocean. A visit to Ile aux Cerfs is a must, not just for the 18-hole golf course, but the private island has the most incredible white sandy beach, a beachfront restaurant and bar, all of which are included and only a 30-minute drive, and short boat trip away.
After enjoying the marvels of the east coast, head to Sugar Beach, a five-star manor-style resort offering vintage splendour, on Mauritius’ famous west coast. Set in acres of tropical gardens, surrounded by lush greenery, Sugar Beach extends along the vast white sandy beach and has an elevated take on the traditional shuttered buildings from Creole colonial culture. With sustainability at it’s heart, five-star Sugar Beach has undergone a complete renovation giving it the “manor glamour” title it intended, with all rooms and suites stylishly remodelled. As well as the stylish buffet restaurant, there are two à la carte restaurants within the resort. The Come Alive Collection allows guests to enjoy many experiences, which include high tea in the Sugar Beach Tea Lounge, the Beauty Bubble for beachside pampering, a perfume making workshop as well as croquet for a balmy afternoon of old-school fun. There are water sports and a kids and teens club as well as the spa. And, as part of their sustainability programme, it offers experiences such as coral farming classes.
There is plenty to be excited about with the all-inclusive package at Sugar Beach offering extensive food and drink options. Le Patio is a buffet-style restaurant open daily for breakfast and dinner, where you can enjoy the fresh ingredients assembled before your eyes by the chefs or simply choose from the many freshly prepared options available. Alongside this is Le Patio Bar which serves light lunches and afternoon teas as well as a varied selection of cocktails. Nestled cleverly within the design of the resort are Citronella’s Beach Lounge Restaurant serving tapas, antipasti, pizzas and delicious desserts and the Buddha-Bar Beach which is famous for its world-class sushi and seafood.
Mauritius is gifted with such beautiful nature, from lush botanical gardens like the one in Pampelmousses, which is 300 years old, to endless snorkelling opportunities in the Blue Bay Marine Park where you can see rare coral. A must-see is the vibrant Chamarel 7 Coloured Earth Geo Park, which is a rainbow of sand dunes formed by thousands of years of volcanic activity. Port Louis, the capital of the island, is a great place to soak up the architecture and shop for souvenirs at the local market.
Need to know
British Airways fly direct to Mauritius daily from London Gatwick and Air Mauritius flys direct from London Heathrow airport.
Rates at Sugar Beach vary depending on dates and demand, but start from £1,110 pp for seven nights for the half-board option.
Rates at Long Beach start from £1,342 pp for seven nights half-board.
For those who want to visit the east and west coast, you can make the most of Sunlife’s twin deal, which allows guests to spend half the stay at Long Beach and the other at sister resort Sugar Beach.
For full details on the Come Alive Collection offering tailored experiences unique to each resort, visit yoursunlife.com/come-alive-collection
For more information about Sunlife, visit yoursunlife.com
Words: Claire Sheldon